Saturday, October 14, 2017

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Treehouse & Chicks": I hope no one comes down with aviation flu

Still catching up on a few old recaps, and now I'm up to Treehouse & Chicks, which for reference, first aired in August 2011.

Coming up on the problems of the one percent, the treehouse builders are coming at the same exact time as the chicken people. How will the family cope with such a jam packed day? (As we find out later Kate scheduled them to come on purpose, thus intentionally setting up this incredible drama.)

In my day, we built a treehouse with Dad and Uncle Dave, a couple hammers and some scrap lumber. You didn't contract it out like you might a family home.

I like looking on the bright side of these episodes, and the bright side of this one is this was back when the episodes were the correct length, only 20 minutes long. That's all the nothingness of these episodes that they require. Pushing them out to 42 minutes as they've done in later seasons is not only ridiculous but may have led to the declining ratings. This episode pulled in just a hair over a million in ratings, which is more than can be said for many of the episodes that came later. Though incidentally, this was one of the final episodes that aired just before this showed was first "cancelled."

Kate makes some reference to the chicks never hatching and that's why the kids wanted chicks. I vaguely remember an incubator in one of the episodes, and I found my recap about it here.  Why did those eggs abort anyway? It doesn't appear Kate explained why in the incubator episode, at least not according to my recap. Apparently she just said they never hatched. But there is no reason a good percentage should not hatch as long as you follow directions and give the eggs the proper temperature and rotation. Things that make you wonder the extent of Kate's negligence on a day-to-day basis.

It's 2011, so it's the heyday of Kate's tanning and botox. She's an unnatural muddy shade of brown, and in fact the twins look very dark too, way darker than they appear today. I wouldn't put it past Kate to take her 10-year-olds tanning, too.

Kate admits she hadn't thought at all about how to lay out the coop in the barn. Ashley appears out of nowhere and thank God she's here. She has sense. It takes her all of ten seconds to come up with a layout that works.

I don't understand what the treehouse has to do with setting up a chicken coop. But some builders show up and start scouting the property for a suitable tree. I can't understand half what the sextuplets are saying. They're not that little, but they do not make any effort to articulate at all, and often speak in obnoxious sing-song tones. No one corrects them. They're seven, not three. I don't remember them being like that, but it's annoying. They acted like babies far too long and some still do sometimes.

Ashley and the kids help clear out the barn. Kate mostly supervises and complains. I count her taking out one plastic bin and that was about it. Ashley flips on a switch apparently connected to an old radio and static comes on. For some reason Kate and Ashley find this absolutely hysterical and haunted-house like. The radio is cool, I would have asked Kate if I could have it. It's just going to end up in a bin of junk somewhere on Kate's watch anyway. Kate passes out brooms and supervises sweeping.

I am hyper alert to how Collin behaves and what is said about how he is, in light of him being gone from the family home for how long now? Collin seems very engaged with this project and enjoying it. He appears to be working hard, and Kate remarks that he was "on task." There are really no signs the boy was struggling in any way, socially or otherwise.

So apparently they already have the outdoor coop set up, and I guess this will be their indoor coop or are they ditching the outdoor one? They either never explain or I missed it. It's very annoying to watch a reality show and be confused about what is going on, even if you don't like the show.

Anyhow, the poop bin in the outdoor coop is so covered in feces they can barely get it open. This family should not be allowed to have animals if they are going to abuse them. Negligence is abuse, by the way. Never cleaning up an animal's feces from their living area is abuse, make no mistake. If they can't be bothered to clear out the poop once in awhile, is it a case where they can't be bothered to change the water dish and put out some feed? Sheesh. And I also think one can make a reasonable inference that if one cannot even properly take care of a small chicken coop, one is probably not very good at taking care of three dogs or any other living thing.

Meanwhile in a totally unrelated story, some contractors are building the children a treehouse that rivals Punky Brewster's. The foreman is talking about actual construction stuff.

Ads! University of Phoenix has been doing a big advertising push lately. Once in awhile a series of commercials come along that are just a really good short piece of cinema, and that's University of Phoenix. They are telling people's stories of their life and education at the college in short but moving bursts. I'm unclear if these are true stories or just made up melodrama, but they're good. I especially like the one about the child who endured bombings in Europe in World War II eventually to emigrate to the United States, in search of safety, work and the dream that her future children and grandchildren could make something of themselves too. Her future generations indeed have the world at their fingertips thanks to Grandma's education at the University of Phoenix. Big tear! 

There's another one that's really good too about a single mom who adapts to the hurdles life throws at her and supports the family. Well done.

What's amazing about this schmuck Kate is that she admits that it was on her summer to do list to clean out the chicken coop. Um, that should be on your daily chore list, you animal abuser. Someone call animal control. Sometimes her idiocy is funny, and sometimes, like this time, it's downright blood boiling because it's hurting other people or animals.

Kate explains, with a straight face mind you, she scheduled the coop and the tree housing building on the same day because they'll be down there on that area of the property anyway. Oh goodness, that's smart. One would not want to have to walk down there twice! Sometimes I really cannot believe she hears herself.

Collin is working so hard helping out with this there's a little bead of sweat on his brow. Aw. For someone who claims to be so organized Kate's garage is a mess. She has various crap just shoved in cardboard boxes. Wouldn't she like to see everything all lined up pretty in giant Tupperware like normal organized people?

Aaden and Collin fight over a hammer for a very long time. Yawn. Kate is pounding some posts into the cement. The cement? How does that work? I literally have no idea what's going on. I also don't understand why an entire team of contractors is across the way building the treehouse, but Kate and Ashley are all by themselves doing what seems to be a fairly complicated project in their own right, whatever it is they are doing, pounding and stapling and such. I'm no Bob Villa, but wouldn't it make more sense to jack hammer pieces of the cement out, then pound posts into it, then refill the cement?

Franky I really don't know what I'm talking about or how to do this project Kate wants to do but I do know when to call in the professionals and leave it to them. The intern chooses dopey guitar string music for this part. Heh. I wonder if that's labeled the way I imagine it to be on the sound board when they cue that up :"Dopey guitar strings."

The younger kids try to explain what Kate is doing but it only leaves me more confused. I do see they are moving the chicken run to the barn. Collin blurts out that the treehouse took three days to build. The episode does indeed seem to play out as taking place over three days when all is said and done. That is a heck of a long time for ten and seven year olds to be forced to stay around the property and film all day.

Kate pays a very brief visit to the treehouse construction, and can't resist mentioning that she is working hard too over at the chicken coop. What does that have to do with the treehouse and what do they care what she's up to? What a narcissist.

The chicks finally arrive in a cardboard box with holes poked in it.  Is that really how they transport them? Yipe. "They were so cute, like a pillow!" says Aaden as he cuddles up with a pillow on the couch. Lol. Aaden, you're so cute!

Kate was worried the kids would step on the chicks?? That's a gruesome fear! She makes the kids stand back away from the chicks, which is no fun at all. Why can't they just be asked to shuffle their feet, or get on their knees? The way she problem solves is so insane.

A glimpse inside Kate's head: "I could see that door in my mind, I totally could see it, sitting there in my mind, but I thought I can't do that. And then I thought, well why can't you?" I wonder if her thought process really goes as slow as she makes it seem.

In unrelated news, the tree house sure is coming along.

I don't know what Kate is doing, but it involves a lot of nailing together of boards. It's some kind of door frame I guess? Ashley suggests maybe they should drill it, because like I said, she has sense. Who nails things anymore? It's not Little House. Kate is clearly in way over her head, and I still have no clue why they didn't assign a contractor to the chicken coop too. Uh oh, doofus made the door too wide.

She heads back over to the tree house contractors and asks them if they would help her trim the door to size. Is it me or is that really, really rude? You paid them to build a treehouse, not step in and lend a hand here and there for other random unrelated projects. They are very nice about it, but it doesn't negate how rude Kate is being.

Next they drill some hinges into the door. I have a feeling without Ashley here Kate would still be sitting helplessly on a giant pile of chicken feces staring at all the building materials. Thank God.

I think the kids are finally sick of Kate going on and on about how amazed she is at the project she is accomplishing. As Stephanie Tanner would say, well pin a rose on your nose. Collin, at the ripe old age of seven, mocks Kate. He rolls his eyes and sways around on the couch, saying, she never built anything in her whole entire life! Heh, I love when kids are old enough to realize some adults are completely absurd.

Kate scares her young kids about Avian flu, only she calls it "aviation" flu because she's an idiot. Way to give them nightmares, geez. Many sensitive kids don't see anything funny about jokes like that. I remember when I was a real little kid, and AIDS was all over the news, and I was way too little to understand anything about AIDS other than to think it was really scary. And then some stupid adult made a joke about a family member possibly getting AIDS because they had recently had an operation. I cried for two days after that. So many adults fail to understand that the bits and pieces of things that kids hear on the news can get grossly exaggerated in their little minds to the point of terror.

In unrelated news, the tree house is just about ready. It's rad, as one would expect when contractors spend three days on it. It's like a one-room tiny house, and even has a loft in it you get up to with a ladder. There's a swing down below that fits two kids at a time. The kids love it all. Too bad we found out later Kate keeps the cool place under lock and key so they can't even enjoy it. That's the whole point of a treehouse for kids, so they can run off to it when they need a break from the real world. What a buzz kill she is.

Kate jokes dumbly that someday it could all be too much for her and so she'll go out and stay in the treehouse. No Kate, someday it will all be too much for you so you will send a child away forever.